Guide to hotel upselling: Upsell at every stage of guest journey

10 Minutes

Kajal Makhija

Guide to hotel upselling: Upsell at every stage of guest journey

Kajal Makhija
Published on

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The hospitality business is not immune to inflation, recession, or pandemics. Hoteliers worldwide have been looking for innovative methods to increase income under challenging circumstances for the past five years and, more recently, to balance growing expenses and inflation pressures.

The hotel ancillary upselling technique is a terrific approach to creating more revenue by selling add-on offerings while improving the guest journey, establishing connections with hotel guests, and, most importantly, generating increased profitability. Similar to good revenue management, the key to successful upselling is to present the appropriate hotel ancillary upsell tactic to the right visitor at the right time through the right channel.

In this blog, we will walk you through the many phases of a guest journey while examining tried-and-true hotel ancillary upselling strategies that improve customer happiness and boost revenue. This guide offers something for everyone, whether you are an experienced hotelier trying to improve your hotel ancillary upselling techniques or a newbie eager to realize the benefits of upselling in hotels.

But first, let us understand what hotel upselling is.


What is hotel upselling?

Hotel upselling is a sales and marketing tactic in the hotel business, which involves offering the guests additional products, services, or in this case, room upgrades that might complement their original booking package. 

The goal of hotel ancillary upselling technique is to boost the guest journey experience and ultimately maximize the hotel revenue. Hotel management can suggest & promote some upgrades or add-ons, like larger rooms with ocean views, premium amenities reserved for loyal members, spa packages, luxury dining experiences, options for late check-out, guided tours, or additional services like pick-up & drop at airports. 

This type of upselling in a hotel provides the guests an opportunity to personalize their stay experience and enjoy benefits, thus creating a sense of exclusivity and value. 

Effective hotel ancillary upselling strategies not only benefit the guests by customizing their hotel stay experience to their expectations but also benefits the hotel by boosting incremental revenue and increasing its average daily rate (ADR). 


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How do hotel upselling strategies help in revenue generation?

hotel upsell

It takes skill to upsell services at a hotel. Few people do it, and those who do it frequently don't do it well. Hotel ancillary upselling is a requirement that no property can disregard. Here are a few of the most effective ways to use hotel upselling strategies at your hotel and boost revenue

Make it personal

Build solid relationships with your guests in order to hotel ancillary upsell them. Booking through third parties makes getting visitors' email addresses more difficult, reducing pre-check-in hotel upselling chances. Utilize tailored and informative social media content to bridge this gap.

The conversion rates of social media can be poor initially, so targeting your content to the right audience is important. Even though an initial investment is required, ultimately, it will reduce the commission costs. You can also promote your hotel by providing information about the local vicinity.

Ensure your hotel website is also user-friendly, and also add a chatbot for quick access to crucial information.

Learn to upsell at appropriate time

Taking advantage of the right moment is the second most important hotel ancillary upselling technique advice! You can boost your revenue with no extra effort if you can hotel ancillary upsell the right service at the right moment.

Once guests make a hotel reservation, you can propose adding a few extras, be it upgrading the room or a relaxing spa, to their vacation to upgrade and stay. 

Keep in mind that the pre-arrival phase is essential for upselling. People are particularly responsive to extra offers in the period between the time of the booking and impending arrival.

Personalized hotel ancillary upsell

Understanding your guests' preferences allows you to target them with relevant offers. Targeted promotions or offers won't be effective if you don't understand your client's preferences. However, getting to know your guests ahead of time is not always possible. 

In such cases, you can divide guests into different segments, like the ones on vacation, the ones on business, or the couple on their honeymoon. You might also divide the visitors based on where they travel. 

A digital concierge can also provide tailored recommendations for room upgrades, add-on amenities, or special packages that align with their preferences and interests. 

Whatever the case, you should always segment your guests using precise data that you can store in your hotel upsell software like Quoality. You can also use this data later to create offers specifically for each visitor. You will definitely notice that your conversion rate for upselling has risen.

Hotel ancillary upsell through packages

Bundling services or amenities into packages is another fantastic upselling technique for boosting supplemental income. Simple examples include premium packages comprising hotel upselling ideas like hotel upgrades, early check-ins, and late check-outs.

Some other examples may include giving your clients a full spa day package that includes massages, ayurvedic treatments, steam rooms, etc., or a restaurant package with a two- or three-course meal with wine and a kitchen tour.

What is the guest journey?

The hotel guest journey basically refers to the absolute experience that a guest goes through when interacting with an establishment. It includes all the guest's interactions from the initial point of interest or awareness until after their departure. The guest journey is a comprehensive timeline that covers every stage of the guest's experience with the hotel.

Understanding and optimizing the hotel guest experience is crucial to deliver exceptional experiences and build guest loyalty. 

A guest journey map should show their concerns and how you solved them, their interactions with your employees, and the methods they employ to contact you. You should also keep a digital guest journey map ready for future reference. 


Techniques to upsell at every step of the guest journey

In this section of the blog, we will look at the five distinct stages in the digital guest journey experience and some upselling tips for each of these steps:


Pre-arrival stage 

Every interaction a visitor has with your hotel before walking through its doors, i.e., pre-check-in-hotel, falls into this category. Before pre-check-in-hotel, the guest may not personally know much about your hotel management. However, they will see the booking confirmation emails and reminders as communications from the hotel. 

Hotel upselling ideas

  • Photo Slideshows for Room Upgrades and Packages

You can efficiently upsell hotel room upgrades and packages by using photo slideshows on websites to creatively illustrate the benefits of more premium, desirable rooms throughout the reservation process. 

By offering enticing upgrades, add-ons, or personalized services during the pre-arrival phase, hotels can create a sense of anticipation and excitement for the upcoming duration of the guest cycle. 

  • Tailored  packages 

Some pre-arrival upselling ideas include offering exceptional amenities or welcome packages, providing contactless early check-in or late check-out options, and suggesting tailored experiences based on guests' preferences. 

These upselling efforts generate additional revenue for the hotel and set a positive tone for the entire guest journey, leading to higher guest satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Email and SMS marketing

Email and SMS have excellent open rates, making them the ideal options for circulating offers before arrival. Quoality, a hotel guest journey automation software, allows you to email guests' pre-check-in hotels. Emails can send customer requests to the front desk or redirect them to your hotel's app, where they can make upgrades immediately.

Quoality also allows your guest to do the contactless check-in for a smooth, tech-savvy arrival process. 

During stay 

The stay stage encompasses the guest's actual stay at the hotel. It includes their interactions with hotel staff, experiences with amenities and services, and any upselling opportunities. The guest will probably use some hotel amenities while there, whether it be the restaurants, the gym, the pool, the digital concierge services, or conference rooms if they are traveling on business. The individual, their needs, and the reason for their visit will significantly impact the touch points during this stay phase. 

Hotel upselling ideas

  • Automated Communication

Automated communication offers some significant advantages to the establishment while guests are within the building. During all phases of the guest cycle, prompt responses to their queries are essential, especially while they are on your property. Without any additional effort from employees, automation can turn an ordinary visitor experience into a fantastic one. 

  • Quoality hotel upsell software

Another advantage of automation is that it allows your hotel to efficiently upsell without needing staff interaction during the guest's stay. AI uses data and personalization to increase hotel ancillary upsell success rates as much as feasible. 

A hotel upsell software like Quoality allows you to customize & update your ancillary service offerings effortlessly. You can easily communicate your special offers to guests via mail, WhatsApp, & SMS with Quoality. 

Departure stage

Departure is the most crucial contact point in the guest cycle journey. Why not maximize it if you had one more chance to enhance a guest cycle experience? You can alleviate their concerns, reaffirm your reliability, and assist them in continuing their adventure. Make sure it counts because this will also contribute to the impression people have of you.


Hotel upselling ideas 

  • Assistance Offers

The opportunity for an ancillary upselling hotel does not end with the guest's stay; it continues throughout their departure and even after. During check-out, be sure to inquire whether you can provide transportation to the airport, if they plan to revisit your site soon, or if you can assist them in any other way.  

  • Cross selling

Offer them a deal on lodging or other perks when they return the next time. Invite them to sign up for your email list or loyalty program. There are various strategies to improve your relationship with your guests and to continue upselling to them in the future. 

Post-stay stage

Don't assume that a visitor is no longer your guest just because they check out of the hotel. A day after check-out, hotel automation systems like Quoality can frequently email guests satisfaction surveys. That is how you can communicate with them, so be sure to answer any queries they make and get in touch with them if necessary.

Hotel upselling ideas

  • Reviews for rate hikes and reputation management

Many hotels view post-stay communication as just an opportunity for feedback. Reviews are important; studies indicate they might provide the foundation for rate hikes. 

However, post-stay emails and messages are just as important for fostering customer loyalty. Visitors' first impressions of the hotel and what the hotel has learned about their preferences for booking sources, seasonal travel, room location, and activities may be used to make next-stay hotel upselling strategies.


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How To measure your hotel upsell strategies?

guest reviews

Here are a few key metrics and strategies for measuring the success of your hotel upselling strategies:

Track conversion rates

The conversion rate is a crucial indicator for assessing the success of hotel upselling strategies. It displays the proportion of visitors who accept an upsell offer vs. those who are presented with one. Monitoring conversion rates enables hotels to pinpoint profitable upsell opportunities and visitor preferences. By analyzing this data, hotels are able to maximize their upselling tactics.

The conversion rate would be 20%, for instance, if a hotel offered an upgrade to a premium room to 100 customers and 20 of them accepted the offer. 

Calculate additional revenue

Because it directly correlates to the financial impact of such hotel upselling techniques, incremental revenue is essential for evaluating the effectiveness of upselling strategies. Upselling ideas results in incremental revenue, which is the additional revenue made over and above the income that the hotel would have made otherwise.

The additional revenue, for instance, would be $20,000 if a hotel earned $100,000 during a given time period, and $20,000 of that amount came through upselling strategies. By assessing additional revenue, hotels can assess if their upselling tactics are significantly affecting revenue and profitability.

Analyze customer reviews

Because it offers insight into the guest experience and may assist hotels in identifying areas where upselling strategies can be improved, gathering customer feedback is crucial to determining the effectiveness of upselling tactics. Hotels may better evaluate how their upsell ideas are perceived and if they enhance or detract from the overall guest cycle experience by asking customers to give feedback.

A guest feedback system by Quoality asks post-stay questionnaires to visitors following their stay to assess their happiness with the ancillary upsell offers they got. 



Hotel upselling techniques can enhance the guest experience, drive customer loyalty, and boost revenue streams. By providing relevant upgrades and add-ons to guests at opportune moments, hotels can create personalized experiences that leave a lasting impression.

To maximize the potential of these strategies, hoteliers need a robust and efficient tool to manage and optimize their upselling efforts. This is where Quoality's hotel upsell software comes into play. Quoality empowers hoteliers to offer enticing upgrades and add-ons seamlessly, enhancing the guest journey and increasing customer satisfaction.

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